Monday, November 8, 2010

Keith Martin Going Rogue

Oh,oh, Liberal MP Dr. Keith Martin going against his party on health care again?  Well good for him!  Obviously this hasn't gone down well with in his own party especially with Ujjal Dosanjh.
Dr. Keith Martin, the Liberal MP, is continuing his campaign to encourage a realistic debate over health care reform (as opposed to just talking about it, which is the preferred option in Ottawa and 10 out of 10 provinces).
His suggestion last month that Canadians should have the right to pay for health care outside the system if they wished had his own party doing backflips to separate themselves from his dangerous ideas. “That is absolutely not a solution to any of the problems that we’re facing today,” said Ujjal Dosanjh, a charter member of the Status Quo club. Liberal policy is to acknowledge that something really needs to be done, while refusing to address any serious alternatives.
But Martin isn’t backing down. Today he expanded his view with a list of criteria for repairing the system:
 Health Care Reform Do’s and Don’ts 
by Keith Martin, M.P., M.D.
•    Allow people to pay to jump ahead of the queue in the public system
•    Allow people to divert taxes to private services. Everyone will pay taxes and ALL will have access to the public system. This is akin to our education system that has private and public schools. People who pay tuition for their children to attend private schools still pay taxes that pay for public schools.
•    Look at 17 of the 20 top health care systems that are all in Europe. All provide for better access to quality care when people fall ill at a lower cost (Canada ranks 22nd in the world, the US is 26th).
•    Allow people to pay for health care services in completely separate private clinics. ONLY private monies would pay for these clinics and services.
•    Enforce common standards for public and private health services.
•    Develop a medical manpower strategy.
•    Allow physicians to provide essential services in the private sector if they spend a minimum of 50% of their time working for the public system.
•    Allow hospitals to be paid on the basis of patient services rendered as opposed to receiving block funding alone.
•    Implement a National Head Start Program for Children. This is a powerful preventative program.
•    Implement E-technologies to improve the flow of medical information e.g. E-Health records.
Most of the reforms I agree with. It's a start.  I say kudos to him for  going against the status quo although it could get him into a heap of trouble with the party but oh, well. Remember, it's taboo for any politician anywhere in this  country to talk about health care reform. At least he's taking the initiative for to start talking about something that needs to be talked about. Reforming our  increasingly failing unsustainable health care system.  As the National Post states:
 That ought to really bug the Liberal leadership. Here’s a guy who won’t just shut up and let them ignore the health care issue. Better drag out Ujjal again.
Yup, better fetch Ujjal!  Can't have one of your members going rogue now. I hope he doesn't shut up. I hope he keeps it up!  At least, it just might get an adult conversation started  which is well overdue.
To Keith Martin, don't allow your party to muzzle you, you keep speaking out!

Related: Here is a very sensible column in the Globe and Mail by Andre Picard on health care reform. It's well worth the read.
First and foremost, we need to throw off the shackles of the Canada Health Act, a well-meaning law that has become an impediment to reform.    Amen!